Best Practices for Managing Your Job Search
Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as having said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” These thoughtful words can be used as a reference when conducting your job search with a technique that is often not used by job seekers.
In your previous positions you have worked toward completing tasks, goals, and timelines whether they have been given to you by your manager or they have been self-directed. So are you managing and keeping track of your job search activities? Job-search management will ensure you are organizing your job priorities effectively which should lead to an effective job search campaign and to a new and rewarding position.
Managing Your Job Search
After you have completed the initial “basics” like developing a marketing plan, setting goals, defining your market place, completing a base resume, writing a targeted cover letter template, and putting together your references, you will need to manage your job search activities. These activities are more complex than ever before and can be “overwhelming” at times. Conducting a successful job search will comprise many components – answering help wanted advertisements; resume posting; searching for positions on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook; conducting targeted mailings; working with employment agencies and networking.
It is important to keep track of your activities. You may apply for a job today and not hear back from the company for several weeks. During that time you have applied for numerous positions and you need to be able to reference back to that particular job posting when talking to the company representative. Plus, keeping track of your activities will give you a feeling of accomplishment which overall helps in maintaining a positive mental health attitude. Some items you may want to track are: phone calls, filing email, responses to advertisements, networking meetings attended, initiating correspondence, and going on interviews.
Keeping Track Using Job Search Management Tools
For job seekers who conducted a search before the use of personal computers, activities were tracked making copies of newspaper help want advertisements, cover letters and resumes and then filing the copies in some kind of order. A job seeker now has a variety of tools not only using spread sheets or word processing programs, but also sourcing the internet to access free sites like JibberJobber.com, JobMango.com, Becomed.com. Google or Microsoft address book/calendar and iPod widgets can assist you in your organization efforts.
“Sit Back” and Look At Your Job Search Process
By keeping track of your activities you can monitor your progress and see where you need to change your focus to make your time spent more productive. As an example, since 70% of jobs are found through networking activities, does your networking log reflect that amount of your time? Are you finding that you are spending a considerable amount of your time in answering job ads for positions in which you don’t have most of the qualifications? If so you may need you to allocate more of your time seeking other ways in answering ads that meet your qualifications.
Keep focused and continuously do a self-analysis of your job search activities! As Benjamin Franklin said in 1780 “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
What other tips would you add on how to effectively manage the job search?